Newly proposed reforms to tax the self-employed – known as Off-Payroll Working – introduce rules that enable firms to classify workers as ‘employed for tax purposes’ without providing them with any employment rights. Dave Chaplin, CEO and founder of ContractorCalculator, a contracting authority that provides free expert advice and information for freelancers and contractors spells out the damage that he says self-employed workers, including contractors, freelancers, consultants and locums will suffer if the reforms go ahead. He is urging people to sign a petition to protect their rights.
The rules have been active in the public sector for a year and have had a damaging impact on public services and peoples’ livelihoods. Many low paid workers have been pushed into being classed as “employees for tax purposes only”, but have not received any employment rights; within the NHS, for example, these dreadful arrangements have seen many locum nurses lose a third of their post-tax income whilst also being denied even basic workers’ rights in return.
It is ludicrous that Government is considering a wider roll-out of this damaging legislation. Its consultation states ‘where an individual is working in the same way as an employee, they should pay broadly the same employment taxes as an employee’, then goes on to clarify that those subject to more tax will not receive any employment rights.
The logic is skewed and HMRC’s refusal to consider the alignment of tax and employment law will pave the way for mass oppression of millions of the UK’s most vulnerable workers unless we take action. It is important that everyone signs this petition to help Government to see sense before it introduces rules which further erode the rights of some of the most vulnerable workers in this country.
*Dave Chaplin is the founder and CEO of ContractorCalculator, a contracting authority for contractors, freelancers and the self-employed.